Gary Neville reacts strongly to what he saw of Arsenal in the meeting with Liverpool.
Arsenal got a real lesson when Liverpool visited the Emirates in North London on Saturday night.
Jurgen Klopp’s men went home with all the points and a 3-0 victory after two goals by Diogo Jota and one by Mohamed Salah.
In the Monday Night Football program on Sky Sports, the panel, consisting of Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher, among others, touched on Arsenal’s performance in the match.
Neville, who was an expert commentator for Sky during the match, is not gracious in his verdict
– I was shocked. At the break on Saturday, I was really uncomfortable with what I had seen. At the end of the match, I did something I rarely do. Usually I get up as soon as the match is over, but I sat there for a while with Martin Tyler (commentator), and we just sat there and said “what was that there?”, Says Neville.
It was the feeling that the players had gone against their own manager that made Neville react.
– We do not know what is going on behind the scenes, but there were some players in front of the field, who looked like a small mafia. It looked like a group of players who were not comfortable, as if there was a distance between them and the manager, says Neville.
Think Ødegaard tried
Neville emphasizes that the feeling he gets is about an instinct he thinks he has, and admits that next week he may pay tribute to the same team.
– We have been around football long enough to know when a group of players look uninterested, he still believes.
Among the six most offensive in Arsenal’s starting line-up, only Ødegaard is approved by Neville.
– Ødegaard tried to push a little on his own, but he was alone. I would go so far as to say that the rest of them were a joke. It was a lack of energy.
The former United defender believes that Liverpool must also have been surprised by the lack of opposition from Saturday’s opponents.
– Before the match, Kabak and Phillips must have thought that with Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe, Ødegaard and Ceballos in the opposite half, we will have some problems. But Liverpool won the ball back again and again. It was light as a stain.
– In the second half I said that me and Martin Tyler could play midfielders for Liverpool. They were so comfortable and not under any pressure at all. It was embarrassing, says Neville.
Alsaker: – Absolutely cruel
TV 2 commentator Øyvind Alsaker is well on his way to agreeing with Neville’s analysis of Arsenal’s performance against Liverpool.
– It was absolutely cruel. It was a bit shockingly weak really. We saw it first against West Ham and. Then they turned it into others, but there were somewhat similar tendencies then: Shockingly weak. They have a bottom level that is quite shocking, Alsaker says to Nettavisen.
Although Saturday’s match was not a big day for either Martin Ødegaard or Arsenal, Alsaker is clear that the Norwegian has delivered well in the Arsenal jersey overall.
– He has delivered well. He got a little sparrowed in a swan dance against Liverpool, there were some tough duels with Fabinho there, which he knew. It is physical in the Premier League, so Ødegaard has to deal with it, but there is nothing in the way of it. David Silva, Bernardo and many with the same physique and have done excellently, Alsaker points out.
– I think he has been good. He has been a kind of conductor for Arsenal offensively. He is very ball-safe, loses little ball, and has delivered some of what he is quite alone about at Arsenal in the last third, Alsaker continues.
On Thursday, Arsenal and Martin Ødegaard will be in action against Czech Slavia Prague in the Europa League. On Sunday, Sheffield United awaits in the Premier League.
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